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Greetings all,

Here is a set of mallets that I recently made for LJ clieb91 for the Shop Made SURPRISE Tool Swap - Fall/Winter 2016.

All the handles are made out of some walnut that was a left over from my countertops, but the heads are all made of different materials.

The small one - weighing in at 24oz is a slug of 1 5/8" brass
The medium one - weighs in at the waif weight of 9oz of Osage Orange
The big clobberer - weighs in at a hefty 25oz - of veg tan leather discs sandwitched between two discs of Osage.

All mallets have a lag bolt with the head cut off attaching handles to the heads. The bolts in the handles go at least halfway down to help with balance and strength.

The bolt in the brass only goes up about an inch, in the wood about 2", and it goes all the way through the leather mallet.

There were a few questions about the leather mallet over on the swap forum that I'll address here.

The leather is the thickest veg tan I could find at the local leather shop. I used a 3" hole saw on my drill press to drill out the discs. I will say my crappy hole saw and 1/3hp drill press made this a challenging job and some had to be finished off with a utility knife.

Here's a shot of the discs loosely stacked.

Here's a shot after gluing up with Weldwood

After the glue cured for a couple days I assembled all the rough pieces and epoxied them together. Note: the bolt is standing proud of the head.

I mounted the bolt into a drill chuck in my lathe. Everything rounded

Final shape

I had never tried to turn leather before, but to my surprise it turned fairly easily. I used my carbide tools. High speed. But the stock removal was slow. You can't lean into it like you can with wood to hog off a bunch quickly - it's slow going, but works fine.

Once that was all done I cut the bolt off and smoothed the top out.

I hope that helps with any construction questions.

TerryR recieved my name for the swap and he had a very similar idea for the swap that I did. I was lucky enough to get three mallets from him as well. A bass, wood, and plane adjuster. The fit and finish of these tools are paramount. Thanks Terry!

It was a fun swap. A big thanks to Dave for putting this shindig on.

Any questions and/or comments welcome.

Thanks for reading.



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1,429 Posts
Todd, Thank you so much for the mallets. They are just awesome. As I mentioned over on the swap forum I am looking forward to putting them all to good use. Planning to make a hanger for each so I can have them just where I need them and display them at the same time.

I actually took them with me last night to my woodturning group meeting to show them off and everyone loved them. The leather one was a huge hit.


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8,547 Posts
Chris - oh man, I'm not sure they're show off worthy, but thanks! I hope you beat the hell out of them.

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2,600 Posts
Todd they sho off worthy. That leather mallet is fab (as are the others, but this one is a new concept to me). You nailed it.

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8,547 Posts
Shucks - thanks, bucket.